Looking for an easy shrimp recipe? Then, try this Creamy Pasta with Shrimp, Bacon, Spinach, Garlic, and Tomatoes! This is one of the best ways to cook shrimp – by smothering it in a creamy Parmesan sauce with lots of veggies and bacon, and red pepper flakes! Try this easy seafood pasta sometime soon, and I am sure you will like it!
It’s very easy to overcook shrimp, which makes it tough and rubbery, which is why I love this recipe as the cream sauce helps keep shrimp tender and moist and prevents it from getting dry and overcooked. The sauce itself is so delicious , you will have to restrain yourself.
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Enjoy the recipe, and don’t forget to top your pasta dish, once it’s ready, with extra Parmesan cheese (preferably, freshly grated).
Creamy Pasta with Shrimp, Bacon, Spinach, Garlic, and Tomatoes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound shrimp, uncooked, peeled, deveined
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (thyme, oregano, basil - combined)
4 medium tomatoes, chopped in large cubes
5 garlic cloves, minced
8 bacon strips, COOKED, DRAINED OF FAT, AND CHOPPED
1/4 (maximum 1/2 teaspoon) crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup half and half
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly shredded
6 oz fresh spinach
10 oz penne pasta (for gluten-free version, use gluten-free brown-rice penne)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, for serving
WHAT IS HALF AND HALF? Half and half is the US milk product that combines half milk half heavy cream (whipping cream) to form a lighter cream. You can easily make it yourself by combining half milk and half heavy or whipping cream.
In a large skillet, on high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil until hot. Add shrimp and cook on one side on high heat for 1 minute. While it cooks, sprinkle the uncooked side of shrimp with salt, paprika and Italian seasoning. Flip the shrimp over, and cook on the other side for 1 minute on high heat. Reduce heat to medium, flip shrimp over again a couple of times, making sure all shrimp is covered in spices and until the shrimp turns pink in color, for a couple of minutes. Remove shrimp from the pan and keep shrimp warm.
To the same pan (but without shrimp), add chopped tomatoes, garlic, half the bacon (already cooked and drained of fat), crushed red pepper flakes. Mix everything, and cook for about 1 minute, stirring everything on medium heat.
Add half and half and bring to boil. Add another 1/4 teaspoon salt, stir. Only after half and half starts boiling, add Parmesan cheese (freshly shredded) and start stirring. Once the cheese start melting, immediately reduce heat to medium and stir, while simmering, until the cheese completely melts and the sauce becomes creamy, which should take 1 minute (at most 2 minutes). Then, reduce heat to low, add fresh spinach, cover with the lid and let the sauce sit, simmering on very low heat, for about 1 minute. Remove the lid, stir the sauce, the spinach should start to wilt, keep stirring on low heat, until the spinach wilts, for another minute.
In the mean time bring a large pot of water to boil, add pasta and cook it according to instructions. Drain the past.
Add cooked pasta to the skillet with the sauce, stir everything. Add cooked shrimp and remaining half of bacon (cooked and drained of fat) to the skillet. Season with more salt and red pepper flakes if necessary. To serve, top the pasta with grated Parmesan cheese.